COVID-19: Relax and don’t hoard self-test kits, MMA tells the public

THE Malaysia Medical Association (MMA) urged the public to not hoard COVID-19 self-test kits and only purchase the amount needed by their household.

“Don’t be paranoid about the need to test yourself on a daily basis unless it is indicated due to the nature of your work.

“Even healthcare professionals don’t test themselves on a daily basis, unless it is clearly needed to do so in certain high-risk situations,” its president Dr Koh Kar Chai said in a statement.

Last month, The Malaysian Reserve reported that COVID-19 rapid self-test kits were in shortage due to increasing demand.

Malaysian Pharmacists Society (MPS) president Amrahi Buang said there is an apparent lack of self-test kits in the market due to the Chinese New Year and Federal Territory celebrations, which lead to massive travelling and greater demand for the products because of the increased awareness and rising positive cases.

“The suppliers are trying to produce more. We are waiting for new stocks to arrive by this or next week. The Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Ministry will have to monitor the situation with stock levels and prices in the market.

“At the same time, the Medical Device Authority assures and monitors the quality and standard of test kits,” he was reported as saying.

Adhere to SOP

On that note, Koh said that people should test themselves when attending events involving large number of people and visiting the elderly, especially those who are immuno-compromised when they come in close contact with infected individuals or when symptoms are detected.

He added that due to the high transmissibility of the Omicron variant, the number of positive cases will be high until Malaysia reaches the peak.

“Though the accuracy of the self-test kits may not be comparable (due to the sampling methods used) to the professional RTK Ag tests as well as the gold standard RT PCR tests, it is useful in picking up symptomatic cases especially when the cases are at an all-time high.

“Do consult your doctor for clarification or further tests if you are in doubt about your status,” he reminded.

Koh remarked: “It will be prudent to maintain the prescribed standard operating procedures (SOPs) at all times to ensure that we don’t add on to the infected numbers.” – March 12, 2022

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